All posts tagged: black-and-white

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Playing between the lines of fashion, photography and art

Benjamin Whitley only completed his BA in photography at Camberwell College of Art last year, and already he has already been featured in the Telegraph and, shot the SS14 campaign for Mako, and shown work at the South London Gallery. Born into a family of image makers – his mother, grandfather and aunt have all been photographers at some point, and his other grandfather is a painter – he has a sophisticated approach that he applies to fashion, film and photography, and the juncture at which it meets art.           “Fashion is interesting due to its construction in terms of image,” he says. “It has a likeness to real time but inherently it’s completely hyperreal. There’s an element of performance that is really exciting; it allows for a collision of style and roleplay that is unique to the medium. I’m interested in how clothing can take on its wearer and vice versa, and how fashion imagery can create completely unrealistic and opulent scenarios. The fantasy of it all is really glamorous.” Attracted to “the way …


Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1972

Peter Beard’s landmark work documenting man-made destruction done to Africa’s wildlife

“The deeper the white man went into Africa, the faster the life flowed out of it, off the plains and out of the bush…vanishing in acres of trophies and hides and carcasses” proclaimed renowned photographer and artist Peter Beard in his 1965 seminal publication The End Game, a tome highlighting the atrocities of man made destruction done to Africa’s wildlife in the National Parks of Kenya’s Tsavo lowlands and Uganda.     And in 2015, deeper the white man goes. July saw online outrage erupt over the merciless killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, poached by US dentist Walter Palmer for a sum of $50,000. Meanwhile as the world mourned Cecil, five of Kenya’s endangered elephants were quietly slain in Tsavo, to the absent furor of almost no media attention. This devastating poaching incident echoes The End Game’s haunting images and text that fill its 292 pages, which chronicle the same ruthless fate these endangered elephants were subject to half a century ago as they are today.     The 50th anniversary edition of …


Camopi, February 2015 © Christophe Gin for the Carmignac Foundation

Christophe Gin wins 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award

Christophe Gin has been awarded the 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award, winning a €50,000 grant for Colonie, his work ruminating on lawless areas in France. Created in 2009, the award has sponsored photojournalism in conflict zones and neglected regions; previous winners include Robin Hammond (featured in our latest Portrait issue) and recent Magnum Photos nominee Newsha Tavakolian. The award was mired in controversy last year, after Tavakolian contended that the foundation’s benefactor, French investment banker Edouard Carmignac began to interfere with with the presentation of her work to an “unacceptable” degree. The foundation disputed her remarks, claiming the postponing of her project was due to purported threats to the photographer’s safety, which it said Tavakolian reported. It would seem any acrimony has abated, however – Tavakolian’s work will be part of the Carmignac Foundation’s upcoming retrospective at Saatchi Gallery, London. It features 40 works produced since the award’s inception by all laureates – Kai Wiedenhöfer, Massimo Berruti, Robin Hammond, David Monteleone, Tavakolian and this year’s winner Christophe Gin. Colonie, Gin’s winning project delved into French Guiana, a region in …


fanon wide

Frantz Fanon’s psychology of race, in photographs

In 2015, the cross-pollination of races occurs freely and globally. Yet it is easy to overlook the complex process of identification that a mixed-race person must confront. For in each race’s DNA is a history, culture and psychology that are all too-often defined in isolation. In his most recent series, Frantz Fanon, which tracks the life of the iconic 20th century thinker, Bruno Boudjelal has continued his career tradition of using photography to untangle the rich web of his own mixed identity. Frantz Fanon is widely regarded as the definitive post-colonial theorist. Born in Martinique, he traveled to France to fight in the Second World War before settling in North Africa, working as a psychiatrist in a small town, Blida, 50 miles from the Algerian capital. It was here, in the years leading up to both its release and Fanon’s death in 1961, that he wrote his chilling account of the psychological effects of colonialism and decolonization on the native Algerian population, Les Damnés de la Terre – ‘The Wretched of the Earth.’   “For …


Louis Stettner: A Station of The Metro

A young girl in her Sunday best fixedly follows the pools of light thrown down on the magnificent stone floor, her shadow keeping her company amidst the suits and stoic silence of Penn Station, New York City. On a commuter train drawing out of the station, a business man curls up for some shuteye, the dark windows framing his exhaustion. Louis Stettner’s Penn Station, New York, a new photobook from Thames & Hudson, is full of such theatrical composition and voyeuristic opportunism; momentary observations of the working and office classes in post-war America. “When things work out, it’s like a miracle,” says nonagenarian Louis Stettner, talking from the South of France, from where he’s working on an upcoming nature series.     “I had the light, the camera was very good, a wonderful lens. Film back then was better,” he says. “Today, it would be quite impossible to get permission to photograph in the railway station. A lot of forces came together which made it very favourable.” If time proves the value of anything, as Stettner has often …


Looking into the eyes of Iraqi detainees

More than a decade has passed since we first saw the horrors of Abu Ghraib, but they remain seared into our collective memory. Piles of bruised, naked bodies lorded over by grinning soldiers, collared men dragged across the floor with dog leashes, triumphant posing over mutilated corpses and, most strikingly of all, a hooded man balanced in a box with electrodes wired to his fingertips. These were tortures explicitly authorised by the US Government. Their aim? To erase the humanity of the detainees. Chris Bartlett chose to address this injustice through photography, using his camera as a tool to restore the humanity and identity of the subject. The result is a powerful series of black and white portraits of Abu Ghraib detainees, accompanied by a brief explanation of the tortures they suffered. The effect is searingly humanising. Bartlett’s photography has the effect of erasing nationality, religion, class, even to some extent, ethnicity. BJP spoke to him about the genesis of the project, it’s intent and how it continues to evolve. How did the project begin? “Back …


Phoebe English A/W 2015

Calm before the storm: quiet moments behind the scenes of London Fashion Week

“There’s nothing quite like it – weeks of preparation for fifteen minutes of beautiful, elegant theatre – a moving gallery piece, a graceful veneer over the absolute chaos backstage. And it happens every season,” says Kensington Leverne. In his new photo zine Powerful Morning Energy Volume.2, Leverne gets an intimate look behind the scenes at London Fashion Week. The black-and-white images find the quiet moments before the shows begin – models idling in changing areas, stylists tending to costumes, catwalks being prepped for expectant audiences. Leverne, who studied Contemporary Photography at University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, fell into backstage photography as a seventeen-year-old, while on work experience with a production company. He admits his skills as a production runner left much to be desired, but constantly took pictures on set. Through cultural osmosis, we’ve become more than familiar with the artful tailoring and impossibly beautiful models that showcase these events. Leverne pulls back the curtain to show the industry in its most testing moments, with 5am call times, 2am finishes and a lot of …


Manufacturers of the Ilford Photo range of film purchased by Pemberstone Ventures

Harman Technology, the manufacturers of the Ilford Photo range of monochrome photographic products, has been purchased by Pemberstone Ventures Ltd for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 1879, ownership of the company has changed hands several times in the past. Mark Anslow, CEO of Pemberstone Ventures, a UK-based investment company, commented: “We are very excited by the potential of the analogue photography movement and believe that Harman is uniquely placed to drive the resurgent film market into the future”. With Agfa no longer in the black and white photographic market, and Kodak pulling out of manufacturing black and white papers, Ilford is the the leading choice for black-and-white photographers. The news marks a positive recognition of a renewed curiosity in film. While digital has long surpassed film in ubiquity, price and ease of use, as the technical gains begin to level out, younger photographers are beginning to discover the unique qualities of film.  Peter Elton, Managing Director of Harman concurs. “Film has become an interesting medium for young photographers to work with again.  We are seeing this very clearly. …


Stark portraits from a former communist republic

“Gilles burst into my consciousness when I was judging a competition in September,” remembers Stephen Mayes, executive director of the Tim Hetherington Trust. “His Albanian study exploded with passion and vigour, which seems to flow effortlessly from frame to frame. He takes documentary to the realm of emotion and metaphor, with a rock-solid technique that never falters.” A former company executive, Gilles Roudière left his job in 2005 to move to Germany and dedicate himself to a hobby that progressively turned into a passion. He learned everything by reading library books and studying photo agencies’ websites. The day he became a photographer was the day he “stopped ‘understanding’ images, but ‘felt’ them instead”, he says. The Berlin-based photographer is profoundly interested in what makes a ‘space’ a ‘place’, and has therefore grounded each of his projects so far in a defined territory. “What is most important is how a locale is experienced, and the photographic translation of said experience, more than its straightforward depiction. I have no interest in objectivity. I want to be as subjective as possible,” he says, …


John McNair, General Secretary of the ILP (Independent Labour Party) addresses the first Pan-African Congress in Manchester. Also on the stage is Amy Jacques Garvey, the second wife of Marcus Garvey. (Photo by John Deakin/Picture Post/Getty Images)

The Manchester town hall meeting that shaped Africa: remembering the Fifth Pan-African Congress

In October 1945, as European powers have retreated within themselves, decimated, disfigured and shellshocked by the tide of death that had swept over the continent for the last six years, 87 delegates representing 50 organisations met in a town hall in Manchester. They came together for the Fifth Pan-African Congress, all with a singular, righteous purpose: the liberation of hundreds of millions of Africans living under colonial rule. Seventy years have passed since the Fifth Pan-African Congress, an event which, in hindsight, was one of the most significant happenings of African organisation ever to have occurred in Britain, perhaps the world. To commemorate, Autograph ABP are, for the first time, exhibiting photographs taken at the event.  The exhibition features over thirty photographs, a selection of rare ephemera and materials associated with the Congress and will be accompanied by a Pan-African Film Lounge, screening a programme of films exploring Pan-African history. “It’s an interesting chapter in history in many ways,” says Mark Sealy, director of Autograph ABP. “It’s significant in terms of who was there and why they were there — Jomo …


BJP Staff